Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

How to "Break the Ice" in English with New Colleagues

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Wed, Oct 09, 2013 @ 07:07 AM

how to break the ice in English with a new colleagueDo you ever get confused about how to strike up a conversation with people when you get started at a new job?

What should you say?

You can't be too formal, but you also don't want to be too casual!

In the end, maybe you don't say anything at all because you are afraid of making a mistake or saying the wrong thing.

Does this sound familiar? If so, keep reading- this post is for you!

 

 

 

How to start a conversation with new colleagues

 

 

 

Scenario #1) You run into a colleague in the cafeteria

 

talking to a new colleague in EnglishA= the new person at work (you)

B= the American colleague

 

B: Oh, hi, you are new here, right?

A: Yeah, I just started last week

B: Ok great. So how is your first week going?

A: Oh, it's going well overall. It's a little overwhelming- a lot of new information to take in, but I like it so far.

B: Great. I know it's a lot of information at first but you will get the hang of it.

A: I'm sure I will.

B: Anyways, let me know if you need anything

A: Thanks, that's very kind of you

B: See you later

A: Bye

 

New vocabulary:

 

1) How is your first week going?

Other ways to say this:

  • "How is everything?"
  • "How are things going for you?"

 

2) So far= until now

Other ways to say this:

  • "Up to this point"
  • "Until now"

 

3) "You will get the hang of it"

Other ways to say this:

  • "You will get used to it."
  • "You'll figure everything out."

 

4) "It's going well overall"

Other ways to say this:

  • "Generally speaking, it's going well"
  • "Things are going well in general."
  • "Basically things are going well."

 

 

Scenario #2) You introduce yourself to a colleague before a meeting begins


 introduce yourself in English at workA= New person at work (you)

B= Your American colleague

 

A: Hi, I'm Jose, it's nice to meet you (shake hands)

B: Oh, you are new here, right?

A: That's right.

B: Yes, I heard that you have a lot of experience in computer systems. We are excited to have you on our team.

A: Oh thanks so much. I am excited to be here. So how long have you been at the company?

B: I have been here a few years now. The time has gone by fast. It's a great place to work.

A: I have heard that. I was so glad that they offered me the position.

B: Well, good luck with today's meeting and I'm sure I'll see you around. Let's grab a coffee during break sometime and talk more.

A: Yeah, that sounds like a plan. Talk to you later.

 

New vocabulary:

 

1) "I have been here a few years now"

Other ways to say this:

  • "It's been a few years since I started here."
  • "I've had my position here for about two years."

 

2) "I'll see you around."

Other ways to say this:

  • "I'll see you soon."
  • "Talk to you soon."
  • "Take care."

 

3) "Let's grab a coffee during break sometime and talk more"

Other ways to say this:

  • "Let's have a coffee when you have some free time."
  • " Let's get a coffee when you are free."

 

4) "That sounds like a plan."

Other ways to say this:

  • "That sounds great."
  • "That sounds good."
  • "Yeah, let's do that."

 

 

Scenario #3) You introduce yourself to your new boss

 


 introducing yourself to your boss in EnglishA= New person at work (you)

B= Your boss at work (English speaker)

 

A: (You knock on the door)

B: Yes? Come on in

A: Hello, name of boss.

B: Oh hi, you are new here.  Tell me your name again?

A: I'm Jose. I just wanted to come by and introduce myself. This is my first week here.

B: Oh, that's great. So how is your first week going?

A: It's going well. My colleagues have been helping me learn the ropes.

B: Good. I'm glad to hear that. We work as a team here so if you need anything at all, you can come to me or you can go to your general manager.

A: Thank you, sir. I will do that.

B: Thanks for stopping by, Jose.

A: Thanks for your time, sir (close the door)

 

New vocabulary

 

1) "Come on in"

Other ways to say this:

  • "Come in"
  • "Yes?"
  • "You can come in, the door is open."
  • "It's open."

 

2) "I just wanted to come by."

Other ways to say this:

  • "I just wanted to stop in"
  • "I just wanted to stop by"

 

3) "My colleagues have been helping me learn the ropes."

Other ways to say this:

  • "My colleagues have been showing me how everything works."
  • "My colleagues have been helping me figure out all of the details."

 

4) "Thanks for stopping by, Jose."

Other ways to say this:

  • "Thanks for coming by."
  • "Thanks for coming in."

 

 

I hope that this lesson will help to give more confidence if you are starting a new job in the United States. Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with your colleagues or your boss.

Good luck!

 

 

 Speak English with Confidence NOW

 

 Photo credits: mikecogh, microsoft PDC, D Begley, Bruno Covas

Topics: Business English Vocabulary, English Conversation, English Lessons

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